The Custom of Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
Giving the Bride Away and other Bridal Traditions

The tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold seems at first glance to be a simple romantic gesture, and is thought of in that way today, but it has a much more dubious history.  The origins date back to the custom of some tribes who had no available women and who had to go and kidnap women from neighboring villages.  The chosen woman would be literally, and forcibly, swept off their feet and carried away.

This also explains the tradition of the best man, as it would be necessary not to do this alone.  The groom (or lets call him the kidnapper in this case) would choose the best man he knew for the job.  Scarey really, isn't it!

This custom of carrying the bride acrss the threshold  is also explained in the superstition which says that the bride will receive bad luck if she falls at the entrance of her new marriage home.  A similar alternative says that the bride will be unlucky if she enters her new home with her left foot.  

Giving Away the Bride

In antiquity, daughters were considered to be the property of their parents.  When the time came for a daughter to marry, when the wedding was approved by father, he personally  transferred the ownership of his daughter to the groom. Today the act of giving away the bride to the groom at the altar symbolizes the blessing of her parents with regard to the marriage.

The Custom of the Bride being Positioned to the Left of the Groom at the Altar

This custom is due to the fact that, when the bride was kidnapped, the groom would be afraid that her relatives would come to rescue her.  The groom woud need to keep his right hand free therefore in case he had to reach for his sword.  Thus the  bride would be positioned on the other side of his sword arm, in other words on the groom's left.  

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